Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe
Formula 1 Miami GP

Red Bull insists Verstappen had floor damage despite post-F1 race confusion

Red Bull has revealed that Max Verstappen’s hopes of challenging Lando Norris for the race win in Formula 1’s Miami Grand Prix were derailed by floor damage.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20, with a bollard in his suspension

Verstappen found himself unable to match the pace of Norris after the safety car restart at Sunday’s Miami race, opening the door for his McLaren rival to secure the maiden victory of his career.

The Dutchman had put down his lack of pace to balance the difficulties he had experienced all weekend and being uncomfortable with the hard tyres that he had switched to prior to the restart.

But post-race analysis of Verstappen’s Red Bull had revealed that the world champion had picked up damage to his floor – most likely as a result of running over the chicane kerbs and taking out the bollard on lap 22.

Speaking afterwards, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said: “I don't think we had a great balance all weekend. Obviously, he hit the bollard around lap 20 and that has actually done quite a lot of damage to the underside of the car, so we will have to look at exactly what the effect of that was.

"It is a reasonable amount of the area around the left rear floor. There is a reasonable amount that's missing and you can see it awfully flexing as well, so it certainly wouldn't be helping."

Horner’s comments seemed to fly in the face of Verstappen’s reaction getting out of the car when he suggested that his pace problems had all been down to set up and tyres and that he felt there had been no damage.

“I never really felt comfortable the whole weekend with it,” he said. “I think on the medium it was still OK-ish, but on the hard it was quite a disaster. 

"I mean, just low grip, just very tricky balance in the low-speed. I couldn't really lean on the rear while in the high-speed I was understeering a lot. So when you have these two issues, you cannot also balance it out because you're chasing two different things. So yeah, just driving to the grip that I had and it was not a lot.”

Speaking about the incident with the cone, he said: “I didn't like it, so I decided to take it out and test the durability of the front wing as well. So that's a crash test done. Yeah, there was no damage. The cone was out of the way for everyone, so it was basically a free-for-all after that.”

Asked specifically though about Horner’s suggestions of his pace drop being down to damage, Verstappen replied: “It didn't feel different, so I don't know. Maybe it was already damaged. I don't know. I mean I hit that thing and then my pace was the same so I didn't really know if there was damage.” 

Red Bull later explained that Verstappen’s remarks about the damage had come before he had seen the car – with it fairly obvious that there was damage.

Horner had explained that its race data showed Verstappen was well down in performance through Turn 1, which would have accounted for the advantage that Norris had.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20, with a bollard in his suspension

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20, with a bollard in his suspension

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

“He lost two-and-a-half-tenths in Turn 1 every lap,” he said. “Whether that was because of the damage, when you actually see the pictures of what was missing, it wasn't designed like that."

Furthermore, Verstappen gave a quote in the Red Bull press release later in the evening clarifying how clear the damage was.

“When we took the car back to the garage, we also found that the floor was damaged and had a hole in which could have been picked up from hitting the cone,” he remarked.

Read Also:

Watch: F1 2024 Miami GP Review - Lando Seizes his Historic Maiden Win

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Video: Norris takes maiden win at the F1 Miami GP
Next article The three factors that mean Norris's Miami F1 win can't be cast as a safety car fluke

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe